Are your articles well thought out or are they full of grammatical errors and ramblings?
Creating quality content can be a challenge. I can’t stress this enough. It’s not about how many posts you pump out a day, the value and intrigue are what count. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
1. Don’t be too formal but remember it’s not your diary, either.
Obviously this doesn’t apply with all types of businesses – For example if you’re doing social media for a wealth management company your tone needs to be on the professional side.
You are not writing an essay in University. You are also not getting up close and personal on your company’s blog. Balance is key. When referring to retailers and brands, I believe being casually in between the two is the best practice. You want your audience to be able to relate to you but also look to you as a resource for knowledge.
There should be a goal and a purpose with your posts. If you keep your goal in mind and what you’re providing for your target audience, it should be easier to stay on track.
2. Grammar matters.
Grammar still matters. Make sure to proofread all of your work multiple times before publishing. This may sound tedious to you, but it is well worth it. Getting a fresh pair of eyes to look at your work helps as well, whether it’s a co worker, friend, or relative.
Remember to be careful with your sentence structure. Run-on sentences can be confusing, and often require more attention than regular sentences. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what’s being said because the sentence hasn’t been properly punctuated. Be careful with run-on’s rival: choppy. Too many short consecutive sentences in a row create choppy paragraphs and eliminate the flow of your words.
If you’re not confident in your grammar skills, you should take a look at this basic infographic copyblogger made on the differences between alike words.
Do you look at a paragraph of 300 words and think to yourself, “Wow, that huge clump of text looks really compelling!” Probably not. Large paragraphs often appear dull and intimidating.
Separate your paragraphs more frequently than formal writing. Make your post look less vapid by simply breaking up your text more often.
4. Make your words clear and concise.
“Be brief; for it is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.”
– Robert Southey, English poet, 1774-1873
Stop putting unnecessary words into your articles and simplify your sentences. Are there words or sentences that are dispensable? This can be a hard habit to kick for some. When you condense your sentences and provide as much value as you can in less words, they instantly become more effective.
Personally, I used to fall victim to using “just” way too often and for no reason. Occasionally, I still catch myself doing it – but the rate slowed down substantially in a short period of time, and I always catch it now.
Headlines also apply to this rule. They should be kept to 7 words or less if possible (find source for this)to keep interest. Should accurately forecast the body of your article.Some other tips for headlines can be read on my article 8 Tips on Running a Successful Retail Blog.
So the heading has intrigued the potential reader enough to get them to skim the subheading of your article. Great! It’s also important to accurately state the nature of the article and a brief overview or idea of what to expect from your article in your subheading.
If the subheading (or heading) of the article is misleading, people can take it personally. Often they feel betrayed or tricked into reading your article. Avoid negative feelings and create credibility and trust by being sincere and honest.
6. Provoke conversation.
Get your readers to interact with you by initiating conversation. Customer loyalty is the goal. Social platforms such as your blog are perfect places for developing relationships with your customers. Social Media is a fairly new form of customer service and should be taken seriously.
Get them thinking with questions and comments. The first step is knowing your readers and creating material that appeals to them. How do you do this? You listen.
It’s crucial to realize that this isn’t a one time thing. You must practice engagement tactics on a regular basis.